5 Wine and Food Pairings That Are Sure to Please

With respect to wine pairings, there are two specific categories to consider: contrasting and congruent. Contrasting pairings find balance in flavors that contrast with each other, whereas congruent pairings find balance by amplifying similar flavors. To help give you a better idea of specific pairings, here are five Sommelier selected wine pairings you're not going to want to miss out on.

1. Fresh Shellfish and White Wine

White wines often go best with fresh shellfish, and there are a couple of basic pairings to consider. For raw oysters, a dry Riesling or California sparkling wine makes for a good combination. For cooked dishes including shrimp or prawns, a Sauvignon Blanc can help enhance the flavor of the shellfish. For lobster, a crisp Chardonnay is a good pairing, and it can also complement the flavor very nicely.

2. Chicken and Pinot Noir

Savory roast chicken is a favorite dish for many people, and Pinot Noir can make for a great pairing with this traditional staple. While chicken often goes well with fruit-driven red wines, wine with a smokey oak flavor can also complement the dish, and bring out hidden flavors that are sure to please any palate.

3. Pasta and Zinfandels

Marinara pasta with a sweeter sauce can pair well with Zinfandels or blends that are medium-bodied. However, a good rule to keep in mind is that the richer a pasta dish is, for example, if it has more meat and cream, the more body your wine should have. This way, neither will overpower the other in terms of flavor and will instead remain complementary.

4. Steak and Cabernet Sauvignon

For steaks, a bold and fruity Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the best pairings to try, and this wine pairs perfectly with red meats. This is because the tannins and acidity of this wine help to balance out the fatty flavors of the meat, which results in a savory pairing that every wine lover needs to try.

5. Burgers and Malbec

Burgers aren't just for fast food, and a bold velvety Malbec is the perfect choice to balance out the ketchup and pickles of any gourmet burger, while also providing a great balance to the meat. A Malbec is also a better choice than more tannic wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, which can often overpower the dish, as opposed to providing a balance.

These are just five of many pairings that any wine lover is sure to enjoy, and one of the best ways to try them all is to frequent a fine dining establishment that offers Sommelier selected wine. You'll be able to receive a variety of wines that you may not have thought of trying so that you can explore many fantastic pairings. Whether you buy a Sommelier selected wine, purchase a bottle from your local store, or order a glass at your favorite restaurant, keep these five pairings in mind so that you can experience the best wine pairings possible, without making any unsavory mistakes.